"Increase the Peace"- Part 1

Have you ever been around a “peace taker?” Have you ever started out your day filled with peace and joy and then realized by the end of the day you’d ‘lost’ your peace? Perhaps you noticed it was gone after you’d encountered someone who was fearful, anxious, critical, irritating, or someone who did something that offended you.  

The first thing we need to recognize is that nobody can ‘take’ our peace from us unless we are willing to give it away.  

Are you allowing someone to take away from you the peace that God has given to you as a priceless gift?  

What can we do to have true peace in all situations?  God’s Word speaks on this very issue.

True Peace is From God

As a believer and follower of Christ, we can have a peace that the world cannot possess or even understand.  It is a peace that is not determined by or affected by our circumstances. The amount of money we have in the bank; our physical health or appearance; our job status; our marital status; crises in our family, the nation, or the world cannot take away the peace that we can have in Christ. It is a peace that transcends all ‘human understanding’. (Philippians 4:7)  

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 ESV

Jesus tells us that He is giving and leaving His peace with us. He gives it to us and commands us to not let our “hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  (John 14:27) Jesus reveals that we ultimately determine whether we will have peace, regardless of our situation. “Let not” means that we have the ability to control whether our hearts will become troubled or fearful. Jesus knows that when we allow fear to enter our hearts, we will lose faith because fear and faith cannot coexist.  Where there is no faith, there can be no true peace.

Jesus came to the disciples who had locked the doors in fear of the Jewish leaders and declared “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19)  Whatever your situation is, He is declaring the same thing to you today!  We can find ourselves full of fear about so many things, including what a person may think of us; our own or a loved one’s health diagnosis; our co-workers’ or boss’ expectations of our performance; or in a panic due to national or world crises. However, we need to recognize that it is our choice whether we will allow our hearts to be troubled over a situation and to think fearful thoughts. If that it the choice we make, we will be giving away our gift of peace that we have from God.

image

Peace Comes from Believing:  

  • That God is Who He says He is
  • That God’s Word has power
  • That God can do what He says He can do
  • That all things are under God’s authority 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Romans 15:13 ESV

“The God of hope” doesn’t just desire that we have peace. He also desires that we have joy, abounding hope, and all the things that He alone can give us that lead to an abundant life! He tells us exactly how we can get these things…it’s “in believing” in Him.  What do you believe about God?  Have you sought to learn about who He says He is as revealed in the Bible, His love-letter to mankind?  The God of the Bible is where peace resides, through His Son, the “Prince of Peace” Jesus Christ!  Do you believe in Him?  Do you believe His Word is truth?

Peace Comes from Obeying

God also tells us that peace comes through obeying His commands.  In His great love for us, God desires for us to have peace and He gave us many commands that He knew would lead us to quiet, peaceful confidence in Him, not in our own abilities.  “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”  Isaiah 32:17

Notice in Isaiah 32:17 what God tells us about ‘the fruit’— or the result— of righteous living; it will be peace.  The effect of that peace will be quietness and confidence forever.  What a contrast that is to when we choose to disobey His commands which results in confusion, chaos, uncertainty, and ultimately destruction. 

“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace” (Isaiah 32:17), and “the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  (James 3:18) This is the principle of sowing and reaping.  If you sow in peace, you will reap righteousness, and that righteousness will bring forth peace and steadfast love. (see also Hosea 10:12) 

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”  Psalm 3:1-2

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”  2 Thessalonians 3:16

Written by: Jamie Shaver